I’m up alone at the cabin. I have made coffee and studied a bit of Greek.
I’m happy to report that my BP finally came down today to 131/92. Sheesh. I can’t explain why it spiked last Wednesday, the first vacation day I took it. I guess the deal is to monitor it.
I’m listening to Shostakovich’s Fifth symphony as I type this morning. I have been enjoying Julian Barnes’ little novel based on some incidents in Shostakovich’s life, The Noise of Time. Yesterday I picked up Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich as related to and edited by Solomon Volkov. This book was given to me and is inscribed by Larry Curran. Larry is on my list of friends who have dropped me like a hot potato. I knew him in grad school. I should say that I knew and grew to care about him in grad school. But one day after we had both graduated, he, another friend, and I were sitting in my kitchen. Larry went all passive aggressive on us in the conversation. i called him on it and he got up, walked out of my kitchen and out of my life. I followed him to his car calling, Larry, if you’re mad, don’t leave! To no avail.
He was a funny guy and a killer flute player. I’m sorry he’s no longer in my life, but what can you do? Anyway, I started rereading Testimony in conjunction with Barnes’ book and could see that Barnes had clearly read and drawn on it. Pretty logical that he would.
Shostakovich is definitely a composer with a lot to say to the 21st century. He wrote within the strictures of a repressive state. His music challenges the inhumanity which still plagues us in this century in practically every country in the world, especially my country of the USA and, of course, Shostakovich’s beloved Russia.
I love this little passage in Barnes:
“Art belongs to everybody and nobody. Art belongs to all time and to no time. Art belongs to those who create it and those who savor it. Art no more belongs to the People and the Party than it once belonged to the aristocracy and the patron. Art is the whisper of history heard about the noise of time.”
I also have the score to Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues for the piano, which i adore. I have actually performed a few of these at church. I have been playing through them here at the cabin on my electric piano. Great stuff.
I also pulled out an extended compositional sketch I have been working on yesterday and spent some time with that. I hadn’t planned on making myself do much of anything on vacation, but it seemed like the thing to do yesterday and it was satisfying to do it.
How Do You Say ‘Welcome to Europe’ in Maltese? Check an Arabic Dictionary –
I love language stories.
3 Kenyans Last Seen at Police Station Are Found Dead – The New York Times
It will be interesting to see if this story falls off the radar. Today is Kafka’s birthday.
Also my sister-in-law, Leigh’s birthday. Happy birthday, Leigh!